A Lexington man awaiting trial for on robbery, burglary and weapons charges was indicted last week in a scheme to smuggle meth and other drugs into the Daviess County Detention Center.
Damian M. Fields, 24, of Lexington, was indicted for first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and being a persistent felony offender. A second man, Derrick Carroll, 26, of Owensboro, was also indicted on the same charges but is currently at large.
Jailer Art Maglinger said the investigation began when jail staff overheard phone conversations between Fields and his girlfriend, Jasmine N. Jackson, 25, of Owensboro. The phone calls dealt with a plan for Jackson and Carroll to bring drugs to the detention center and throw them over the fence, Maglinger said.
Fields' phone calls were being monitored because of his pending cases, Maglinger said. In August, Fields was arrested in connection with an armed robbery at a home on East 19th Street, where he and a second person allegedly entered the home and robbed the occupants at gunpoint.
"I had received some information that Fields had bribed or threatened another witness" in the robbery, Maglinger said. The plan, he said, was for Jackson to drive Carroll to the jail, and for Carroll to throw drugs over the fence.
"You can hear that's what they are talking about on the calls," Maglinger said. All jail calls can be monitored and recorded, and inmates are made aware of that each time they make a call.
"It's amazing what they say in their calls," Maglinger said.
The drugs, 4 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 15 grams of synthetic marijuana, were allegedly thrown over the fence in the early morning hours of March 15. Maglinger said investigators determined Jackson had been in contact with an inmate in Building 3 of the jail, where a state inmate who had access to the grounds was housed. The plan, Maglinger said, was for the inmate to retrieve the drugs, after which time Fields, who was in Building 1, would arrange for the drugs to be brought to him by another inmate, Maglinger said.
"There is movement," Maglinger said. "There are times Building 3 inmates come over here" to Building 1 for classes, he said.
The Building 3 worker "kind of admitted to picking them up" and hiding the drugs, Maglinger said. That inmate, William O. Hoggard, of Dawson Springs, was never charged with a crime but received punishment from the Department of Corrections. Hoggard was transferred to the Grayson County Detention Center in April.
The day after the drugs were allegedly thrown over the fence and recovered, the jail's special response team raided Building 3, a process which involved strip-searching between 70 and 80 inmates, Maglinger said.
"We found the drugs in the outdoor rec area in the process of strip searching" the inmates, he said.
"Drugs are definitely a higher value in jail" than on the street, Maglinger said. "Just having any kind of drug gives you money and power (in jail) and can lead to violence."
Jackson pleaded guilty through the Commonwealth's Attorney's Rocket Docket program and was placed on diversion for two years. Fields is scheduled to appear in court on the new charges on July 25. Carroll, who has an Alabama connection, has not been located, Maglinger said.
"As far as I know, he is still on the run," he said.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, email@example.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse